Pharmacy Inventory Management: The Benefits of Electronic Shelf Labels

Inventory management is challenging at the best of times. With the advent of automatic ordering, inaccurate stock data has become a common problem, often causing shortages or surpluses that cost money and frustrate customers. Fortunately, technological solutions such as electronic shelf labels (ESLs) are available to address inventory management problems and other difficulties pharmacies face.

How ESLs can improve pharmacy inventory

Electronic shelf labels can do much more than just display the price of an item. They can be integrated with sales management software to track inventory, provide additional product information and more.

Pricer ESLs are equipped with Instant Flash, LED lights that are designed to flash at the scan of a product or the press of a button. These can be used in conjunction with the brand’s geolocation technology to guide employees on the floor to products that are listed in the system as having low or negative stock levels. The flash-guided solution can also be used to prevent products from being restocked incorrectly (e.g. placed on shelves with similar but not identical products).

Pricer ESLs are also able to display additional pages with information such as the last order date and quantity, planned delivery dates, average quantities and sales, etc. These pages can be displayed at scheduled times or accessed in real-time via a handset.

The additional information and guidance provided by ESLs can streamline pharmacy inventory management, improve data accuracy and reduce human error.

Other benefits of ESLs in pharmacy settings

Here are just a few of the many other benefits electronic shelf labels offer for pharmacies and other retailers.

Streamlined order picking

The rise of online shopping and the pandemic have led to major shifts in consumer shopping habits. “Click and collect” ordering has become popular, even for essentials such as groceries and pharmacy items. The task of going through the store collecting items that was once done by the customers themselves is time-consuming for employees and costly for retailers.

Pricer ESLs can streamline the process considerably. Order pickers can use the Instant Flash lights and geolocation technology to navigate around the store and quickly find the required items, saving up to 10 seconds per pick.

Instant price updates and improved accuracy

While paper labels must be changed manually every time a price is updated, electronic shelf labels are automatically updated through a centralized system and can be changed in seconds at any time. This drastically lowers the labour costs associated with price changes, reduces human error and inconsistencies and improves customer satisfaction.

Bring efficiency to your pharmacy with JRTech Solutions!

Particularly with both pharmaceutical and retail items to manage, being able to streamline inventory management is a major advantage for pharmacies. Electronic shelf labels are a great way to cut costs and improve overall operational efficiency.

JRTech Solutions is North America’s leading supplier of digital pricing solutions from industry pioneer Pricer. We offer cutting-edge electronic shelf labels and other digital signage for retail—pharmacies, grocery stores and more. Contact us today to bring your pharmacy into the digital age!

3 Pharmacy Industry Trends That Will Shape 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented major challenges for retail pharmacies and fundamentally changed the industry. While we appear to be beyond the era of lockdowns that characterized the peak of the crisis, many of the changes are here to stay.

The pandemic intensified and accelerated several trends that were already on the rise in retail pharmacies. Let’s take a look at a few of those pharmacy industry trends and how they will shape 2023 and beyond!

Expanding the health care services offered at pharmacies

During the pandemic, pharmacists were called upon to help mitigate the severe shortage of health care workers. They provided access to rapid tests and contributed significantly to the mass vaccination campaign that got us past the stage of acute crisis.

Many jurisdictions have been endowing pharmacists with additional powers in recent years in an effort to alleviate the burden on the overtaxed healthcare system and provide patients with easier access to care. In Quebec, for example, pharmacists are allowed to renew prescriptions in certain cases, substitute prescribed medications in the event of supply disruptions, administer vaccines and more.

This is an industry trend that will continue in 2023 and beyond, with retail pharmacies increasingly becoming community hubs for basic and preventive care. The shift to providing more care will only be possible if pharmacists can take advantage of technology to save time on other tasks.

Embracing technology

The pandemic coincided with an increasingly severe labor shortage that left businesses of all kinds struggling to maintain their operations. This led to major supply chain disruptions that made it difficult to access even basic necessities such as medications and food items.

In these circumstances, it has become more and more important for retail pharmacies to invest in technology that can reduce labor requirements and keep a close eye on inventory. With electronic shelf labels, prices can be updated automatically, eliminating the need for employees to spend hours manually changing labels.

ESLs can also be integrated with sales management software to help track inventory and restock items. They can flash to guide employees to products with low stock levels and display information such as the last order date and quantity, planned delivery dates, average quantities and sales, etc. This digital pricing technology can make a big difference when it comes to pharmacy inventory management.

Offering e-commerce options

The pandemic also drastically accelerated the trend of online ordering, as people tried to limit their exposure by avoiding entering brick and mortar stores. Pharmacies, along with other retailers, had to adapt quickly to provide delivery and click and collect services.

Here again, electronic shelf labels can help, with flashing lights accompanied by a geolocation tool to guide order pickers to the correct items. The technology can save employees up to 10 seconds per pick, streamlining the order fulfillment process.

Online ordering is another pharmacy industry trend that’s here to stay. Even as the fear of viral exposure diminishes, customers continue to appreciate it for its convenience. It also benefits housebound, sick and elderly individuals, making it easier for them to receive their medications and other essentials on time.

Stay on top of retail pharmacy industry trends with ESLs from JRTech!

Going digital is key for pharmacies to adapt to the new retail landscape, challenges and customer expectations that have become the norm since the pandemic. Electronic shelf labels are versatile tools that can help retail pharmacies weather labor shortages, supply chain disruptions and more!

JRTech Solutions is North America’s leading supplier of electronic shelf labels. If you’re interested in technological solutions to improve your operational efficiency and keep up with industry trends, contact us today!